By Quaid Najmi
Pune/Udaipur, Oct 27 (SocialNews.XYZ) The miniscule Dawoodi Bohra community in India and worldwide grieved over the death of Indian Army Major Mustafa Zakiuddin Kherodawala - who was killed in an air crash in Arunachal Pradesh last week, officials said here on Thursday.
The community's spiritual leader, HH Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin currently in Rajasthan, visited the Kherodawala family home and offered solace and prayers for the loss of Major Mustafa - as he was popularly known.
Syedna Saifuddin met to convey his heartfelt condolences to Maj. Mustafa's aged parents - father Zakiuddin, mother Fatema - and his younger sister Alifiya.
On another touching note, it emerged that the late Maj. Mustafa, 27, was expected to tie the knot with an Udaipur girl, Fatema Abdeali Kankroliwala this week.
Coincidentally, their 'nikaah' ceremony was scheduled to be performed today (October 27) at the hands of the Syedna himself.
"Sadly, he passed away just six days before his marriage. Both the Kherodawala and Kankroliwala families are in deep gloom and despair at the monumental tragedy that has befallen them just before their 'nikaah' ceremony," said an aide to the Syedna.
The Syedna also met the Kankroliwala family, offered his deepest condolences and solace to the prospective young bride who lost her fiancee in the chopper crash.
The Syedna recalled Major Mustafa's six years' services with the Indian Army and acknowledged his contribution to the nation, and the ultimate sacrifice while performing his duties for the country.
Major Mustafa was among four other Indian Army personnel killed in the Advanced Light Helicopter crash in a mountainous region at Siang in Arunachal Pradesh on October 21.
Later, his body, along with the other deceased, was retrieved and taken to Udaipur where he was accorded a funeral with full military honours at the Khanjipeer Cemetery.
The National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune organised a special wreath-laying ceremony at its sprawling Pune campus on Tuesday (October 25) in honour of Major Mustafa -- one of its distinguished alumnus.
The solemn commemoration, led by NDA Commandant Vice-Admiral Ajay Kochhar, was held at the 'Hut of Rememberance' at the NDA campus, with the participation of a large number of officers and cadets.
"Major Mustafa of 252 Army Aviation, in the highest traditions of the Indian Army, made his supreme sacrifice while performing his duties on October 21, during an ALH crash in Arunachal Pradesh. He was an alumnus of the 128th NDA Course, November Squadron," said an NDA Spokesperson.
"Today, as his name gets inscribed in golden letters with full military honour in the sacred 'Hut of Remembrance', his martyrdom will continue to inspire future generations of NDA cadets. The NDA fraternity offers heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of grief," said the NDA.
Besides Major Mustafa, his co-pilot Major Vikas Bhambhu, craftsman Ashvin K.V., Havildar Biresh Sinha and Naik Rohitashva Kumar also perished in the tragic disaster.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at: email@example.com)